Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
TITLE: To Grow a Family
By nicole wian
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Some children have imaginary friends. I had imaginary brothers and sisters. Lots of them. They were even given middle names and birthdays. They revolved through my head on a daily basis as if they were actually living with my parents and me.
I was close to my parents, but I craved someone on my level, someone I could share my experiences with, someone I could be friends with. My real brothers and sister were old enough to be more like aunts and uncles and they had children my age, but they lived out of state, as did all my cousins. When I would vacation with my nieces and nephews, I would come home so sad to be back, away from the camaraderie of built-in playmates. I remember after one vacation coming home and sitting in my closet just crying because now I was home alone again.
I felt a gap in my life, and siblings were something I intensely desired. I viewed other families in the most romanticized way and believed that if I had brothers and sisters we would all be close, we would never fight, we would tell each other all our secrets. I was always fascinated by my friend’s relationships with their siblings, wanting to know the details of how they related, figuring out how birth order played into their family dynamic, vying for something similar.
But as I grew older I began to see that siblings are not always as close to one another as I had imagined. And then as an adult, more so, saw how many people I know actually take their siblings for granted. It saddens me to see families where brothers and sisters don’t talk or hold those relationships in high regard. I can’t understand it.
Ironically, I married an only child and we now have three children. We both love the idea of having a big family, having our children and their children come for holidays when we are older, tons of cousins playing together. Today as a mother, I am fascinated watching my own children, seeing how they naturally interact, how their different roles in this family are already shaping them.
We are instilling at a young age the importance of family. My oldest is my only boy and he knows it is both a privilege and a responsibility, that role. We teach him to be protective and caring, to look out for his younger sisters. And my daughters adore him. My second child thinks he is her prince. We know there will come a day when she no longer views him in that exact light, but we pray that they will always have a special bond, each one of them with the others. We want them to know they can always count on each other, that these are ties that bind - healthy ties.
Eventually, they will leave this family unit and begin families of their own and that will be their primary focus, but it is my prayer that they will never grow distanced from one another. One of my greatest hopes for my children is that remain close. That they would always have a sense of loyalty and commonality, no matter how different in personality they are, knowing that God chose them to be in a family together for a purpose.
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